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5 Things You Need To Know About Insulin-Dependent Diabetes & Illness

5 Things You Need to Know About Insulin-Dependent Diabetes & Illness

5 Things You Need to Know About Insulin-Dependent Diabetes & Illness

Vigilance is the watchword for caregivers of people with insulin-dependent diabetes. What do you need to know when illness strikes?
The body requires more energy when it is sick. That energy fuels the immune system’s fight against infection. People who are sick are often not interested in eating. With type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes and illness, there is a risk of not maintaining enough glucose in the blood for this to occur. This decrease in food intake can lower blood sugar and increase the risk of fat burning. Fat burning leads to ketone production and ketoacidosis–a serious, life-threatening condition.
When your loved one with insulin-dependent diabetes is sick, its important to take blood sugar readings more frequently. You should also monitor ketones. Ketones are the byproduct of fat burning: when the body goes into “starvation” mode cells begin to burn fat. In time, the tissues of the body and the blood stream become acidic. According to Mayo clinic, untreated diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal. Remember, diabetic ketoacidosis can occur in a person with normal blood sugar readings. Monitor ketones every 6 to 8 hours using home blood and urine testing kits.
Offer your loved one lots of fluids with simple, easy to digest carbohydrates in them. It’s important to drink lots of fluids when sick with stomach illness and respiratory illness. For stomach illness, fluids are lost through vomiting and diarrhea. Increasing fluids during respiratory illness thins mucus. Ginger ale, apple or pear juices are all good choices. Avoid milk and caffeine. Warm b Continue reading

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Diabetes and Feminine Health: What Women Need to Know

Diabetes and Feminine Health: What Women Need to Know

Anyone who has experienced a yeast infection knows how unpleasant the condition can be. Abnormal vaginal discharge, itching and burning, painful intercourse and urination, and redness and swelling — any of these common symptoms can put a dent in a woman’s sex life or simply impact her daily comfort level. For women with type 2 diabetes, combating this issue and maintaining feminine health overall can be of particular concern, especially if their blood sugar is poorly controlled.
A Greater Risk of Yeast Infections
“Control of blood sugars is important for the whole body,” says Mache Seibel, MD, a gynecologist and obstetrician at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “But an area that isn’t much talked about is how elevated blood sugars seep into vaginal tissues and set up an environment that’s more favorable for yeast infections.”
Vaginal tissue contains a balance of microorganisms, like yeast and bacteria, Dr. Seibel explains, but excess sugar in the blood can fuel the growth of yeast, potentially leading to an infection.
“Think about baking bread and how yeast thrives much better when you add sugar,” says Susan Renda, CDE, doctor of nursing practice and assistant professor in the department of community–public health at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore. “I tell patients, ‘You have a nice little balance in your body, but when you throw a cake and cookie party, all the yeast comes to the party and just starts to go nuts.’”
Frequent urination, which can occur when glucose levels are high and the body works to rid itself of exce Continue reading

Why Does Diabetes Make You Urinate So Much?

Why Does Diabetes Make You Urinate So Much?

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, but more than a quarter of them don’t know it. Frequent urination may be one of the first signs that you have high blood sugar, a hallmark sign of diabetes.
When you have diabetes, your body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels. Excess sugar causes more fluids to pass through the kidneys and increases urinary frequency, known as polyuria.
“There are other reasons that people with type 2 diabetes can have increased urinary frequency and incontinence,” says Noah Bloomgarden, MD, assistant professor of medicine-endocrinology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and clinical endocrinologist in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York. “But the most common cause is hyperglycemia [high blood sugar], or uncontrolled diabetes.”
Polyuria is not as serious as many other complications commonly associated with diabetes, such as blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputation, and premature death. But it can be a sign that your blood sugar is elevated, so it’s something you should address with your doctor.
Frequent urination is not the only bladder problem that occurs in people with diabetes. They may experience a frequent urge to urinate (even if only a small amount of urine comes out), a loss of bladder control that results in leaking urine, and urinary tract or fungal infections. Such infections can also lead to an increase in urinary frequency and incontinence, especially in the elderly.
“It really depends on the point a person is a Continue reading

Scientists have cured diabetes in mice, marking a major breakthrough in tackling the disease

Scientists have cured diabetes in mice, marking a major breakthrough in tackling the disease

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Scientists in the United States announced the breakthrough, which uses a novel approach that may eliminate Type 1 diabetes and see painful insulin injections become a thing of the past.
University of Texas Health Science Centre doctors used a virus as a carrier to introduce insulin-producing genes into the pancreas of rodent subjects.
Professor Ralph DeFronzo said researchers altered cells so they secreted insulin, but only in response to glucose — mimicking the behaviour of the body’s beta cells.
Source:Supplied
This study bypasses the autoimmune system by altering other pancreatic cells so they can coexist with immune defences — unlike beta cells, which are rejected in Type 1 patients.
At the moment, Type 1 diabetes is treated by monitoring glucose levels and injecting artificial insulin up to four times a day. While technology has made management of the condition easier, a cure has been elusive — until now.
The patent’s co-inventor Professor Bruno Doiron said the results had never been seen before.
“It worked perfectly,” Dr Doiron said. “We cured mice for one year without any side effects.”
Dr Doiron predicted the same low-risk response in humans.
“If a Type 1 diabetic has been living with these cells for 30, 40 or 50 years, and all we’re getting them to do is secrete insulin, we expect there to be no adverse immune response.”
Dr DeFronzo said the same method of treatment has been approved almost 50 times by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat various conditions, including rare childhood diseases.
While it’s ear Continue reading

How does diabetes affect your sex life?

How does diabetes affect your sex life?

Having diabetes affects much more than a person's diet - it can impact every aspect of their life, including their sexual health.
Similarly, it is not just the physical side effects of diabetes that cause problems. Diabetes can have an impact on a person's mental health, their sex drive, and their self-esteem.
How does diabetes impact the sexual organs?
Diabetes can affect the sexual health of both men and women in the following ways:
Impact on women
Damage caused by diabetes to the nerves can affect a woman's ability to sense sexual stimulation and arousal. This can affect the release of vaginal lubricant, which may result in painful sex and reduced ability to experience an orgasm.
When a woman who has diabetes goes through the menopause, she may experience sudden drops in her blood sugar levels. This may affect a woman's sexual health because she may have to check her blood sugar before having sex.
She might also experience symptoms of low blood sugar during sex. This may make sex seem more of an inconvenience than a pleasure.
Women with diabetes are also more likely to experience infections, such as thrush, cystitis, and urinary tract infections. These can all impact the ability to have sexual intercourse.
Impact on men
Men with diabetes often have reduced testosterone levels, which can affect their sex drive. However, the main sexual health problem affecting men who have diabetes is an inability to achieve and, or, maintain an erection. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, an estimated 50 percent of men who have had diabetes for 10 years experience erectile dysfunct Continue reading

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